Friday, June 27, 2008

Swisher Sets Off the Fireworks: Cubs-Sox Series 2 Game 1

I only heard, “You can put it on the booooooooard! Yes!” once, but boy was it a good one! The fireworks go off, everyone is screaming, it’s a grand slam by Nick Swisher. Hot man at bat, went 2 for 3, one of which was the grand slam that brought the score to 8-0 in the bottom of the third. The Sox had one home run, and earned the other 6 the hard way, with hard hits by the players. What a game for the Sox as they bring in their first win of the year against the Cubs, 10-3.

So what did you miss? Alexei was out because of his wife having a baby, and Uribe did a fine job filling in for him on second. Calos Quentin seems to be getting back on track, and went 4 for 5 today. Another player having a great day- defensively, at least- was Jermaine Dye. Two great catches: a deep foul off the bat of Derek Lee, and a near homerun at the fence by Fukudome.

Some lowlights: Contreras’s pitching. While he held off any serious damage, his attempts at pitches on the right corner were too far to be even called outside. Out of orbit perhaps? After two walks, my notes said (about Crede): “Making good- no, GREAT saves over and over. Sure as hell can’t rely on Contreras.” Ouch. Maybe I was a little harsh, but I can’t say I understand why Ozzie trusts as much as he does on Contreras. While I “fondly” call Dotel Ozzie’s dad (Come on, you’ve seen the resemblance!), Contreras gets the title of “Grandpa Jose.” I think he’s only 36, but could easily pass for a septuagenarian and get a senior discount for the early bird special. Boone Logan threw a few sloppy pitches, but finished off what Contreras start successfully, and was followed by Dotel and Masset who both finished strongly.

I’ve neglected Cabrera and Pierzinski, who started out solid, but cooled down. Does anyone else feel like A.J. is in an odd place in the lineup? I’m not saying make him a clutch player (and speaking of a clutch player… is there anyone on the team (other than Crede one week every month or so) that can handle the position gracefully?), but he’s more of a hitter than a slugger, and he seemed to get stuck on first or second more often than not. Thome was back after his big National League-induced break, but doesn’t do anything. “Number 24” was also there. Yeah, he’s sharp on third, but he needs to get those quiet shoulders (or whatever he had going before) back before I decide that Alexei, A.J., or Orlando are my favorite players. I’m sure with a threat like that, Joe is sure to get his batting back in shape.

Great game, great comeback, great defense, great offense, great day to be a White Sox fan!

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